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Tainted Teething Syrup Kills 34 Children in Nigeria

Nigeria is flying in doses of antidote for hospitals after the number of infants killed by teething syrup tainted with a poisonous chemical rose to 34.

Five more children have died on top of 28 reported to have lost their lives last month in three locations after being given "My Pikin" teething syrup contaminated with diethylene glycol, blamed for causing kidney failure.

A 14-month-old infant died after taking the teething medicine on Nov. 2, but the death was initially unreported.

"The children still died in spite of dialysis treatment because the kidneys were already damaged," the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said.

The agency said it hoped to take delivery of some 100 doses of antidote from London tomorow.

The agency said it had so far retrieved 425 bottles of "My Pikin" syrup from the market and arrested a number of people involved in the distribution of the contaminating chemical.

More than 40 children aged between four months and three years have been hospitalized since the first case was discovered on Nov. 3 with symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting, fever and convulsions as well as an inability to pass urine for days.

Health officials believe the number of cases could be higher as many parents in Africa's most populous country do not have access to basic health care for their children.

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